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From Nowosci Ostrowksi (Ostrów News), May 20, 2008 ostrow article


Our city – the precursor

A genealogical tree of Jews who lived in Ostrów Mazowiecka during the years 1808-1905 is emerging.

The International Institute of Jewish Genealogy (IIJG) in Jerusalem has chosen our city for the realization of a pilot project to create a family genealogy tree of the Jewish population. The idea for developing that kind of tree emerged in 2006 in New York in cooperation with the Ostrów Mazowiecka Research Family representing descendants of Ostrów Jewish families, and a Polish organization – The Foundation for Preservation of the Cultural Heritage.  Ostrów was selected because there exists an immense amount of data on the Jewish population that lived here and which, during the years 1808-1905 and up to World War II, constituted the majority of this town’s inhabitants.

The institute in Jerusalem has taken the responsibility for creating the tree based on the information for that period. The purpose is primarily to remember those who were exterminated, but also to introduce the contemporary inhabitants of Ostrów to the town’s long Jewish history.

Also by concentrating on one genealogical tree of the Jewish population, we, the inhabitants of Ostrów, will be able to learn about our own Jewish ancestors, about whom we may be ignorant.

The researchers will, most of all, use the civil registers of birth, marriage and death, the registers with population census, registers of population movements/resettlements, as well as existing family trees and information from the court archives.

This project requires vast financial means and collaboration of the Jerusalem Institute with Polish organizations and archives holding data and population censuses and overseas organizations indexing those records.  
A considerable problem for those working on the project is created by the names, family names and first names that are transcribed in different ways depending on the language of the archived documents. For that reason two specialized computer programs will help in the realization of the project.

Let’s hope that we soon will be able to admire the fruits of this work, which will be finalized as soon as possible. It’s indeed a very good promotion of our town.

Katarzyna Matczak